Middle Earth deteriorating?

Discussion in 'The Hall of Fire' started by BalrogRingDestroyer, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. BalrogRingDestroyer

    BalrogRingDestroyer Member

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    What was said in this video, I've often wondered. It seems that each age was getting worse. The Men were of a baser sort in each age (and also lived less long) than the Men of the previous ages. The Elves seemed to be less powerful in each age, as we can see Feanor and Galadriel having quite a bit of power but those like Thrandil and Legolas not seeming to have much, if any, magical power. The dwarves of the First Age had smithcraft enough to make a great gem to hold the Simaril, of which it was seemingly lost after the Battle of the Thousand Caves. The smithcraft of Moria was also lost after the Balrog sacked Durin's kingdom. And the smithcraft of Erebor was lost after Smaug attacked the Dale and the Lonely Mountain.

    Even evil seems to be weakening, as Sauron was quite weaker than Morgoth and was stronger in the Second Age than in the Third, and what evil comes after him in the Fourth Age would be weaker still. (Not necessarily less dangerous, but less mythical.)

    The only race that seems to be fading slowly is the Hobbit. They did seem to be getting lazier but it was stated that they knew how to make do with less in a pinch, and were able to fight back in the Battle of Bywater in the last round of the War of the Ring.

     
  2. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Skulking near Archet

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    I'd started that video earlier, but stopped at the watch commercial. I see some comments on the irony of product placement in an essay on Tolkien.

    I skipped around this time, so can't really comment, except to say I see nothing new here. The idea of a gradual degrading of reality is a common theme in fantasy, just as it is in mythology.

    Maybe I can get back to this later; it's certainly worthy of discussion, and can be approached from various angles. In the meantime, here's one of them: the idea of thinning, in an article from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy:

    http://sf-encyclopedia.uk/fe.php?nm=thinning
     
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  3. Miguel

    Miguel Active Member

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    I see the 4th age as a calm era with lots of little tales here and there yet to be told. But later, in the 5th age...Uhuhohahaha!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Ithilethiel

    Ithilethiel Well-Known Member

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    I haven't watched the video but I tend to agree with you BalrogRingDestroyer. When preparing a reply for another post (which I'm yet still to post) I looked into a lot of what you mentioned and it occurred to me also.

    I don't know if it's a true winnowing or thinning but perhaps a sort of melancholia encompassing each race. A hopelessness mostly on the part of the elves since they've been in ME since practically the beginning and have witnessed the further degradation of the races and places as evil spreads. No matter how many times it seems to be eradicated...boom! evil always seems to find a way back into the present times.

    In a sense, it's quite biblical. The land and the ppls are sinful, doomed. All are hopeful at the start but as time flows by there is less and less hope. Now we know JRRT didnt like allegory but it's hard to argue that his Catholic sensibilities didn't inform his writings.

    It's not always a blessing to have eternal life. As for the other races, I sense less of this tiredness but still it does persist.

    Interesting topic.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  5. Ithilethiel

    Ithilethiel Well-Known Member

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    Btw, SeS interesting article...thx for posting.
     
  6. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Skulking near Archet

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    You're welcome, Lady Ithilethiel -- and I'm happy to see you posting here again! :)
     
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  7. Ithilethiel

    Ithilethiel Well-Known Member

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    I get into all kinds of trouble on winter break :p
     
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  8. Phil Lewis

    Phil Lewis New Member

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    I think the “degrading” is explicit. There is lot of mention of the “failing of the men of Númenor “, of the diminishing of the Elves. It seems to crop up all over the place, so not really anything new.
    I haven’t watched the video, though.
     
  9. Ithilethiel

    Ithilethiel Well-Known Member

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    Yes, agree there are many literary clues in addition to the sense of things that pervades the story as it progresses.